Yi Cheol-seung

Lee Chul-seung (or Yi Cheol-seung, Lee Chul-sung or Lee Chul Sung) (Hangul:이철승, Hanja:李哲承; May 15, 1922 – February 27, 2016) was a South Korean 7-term National Assemblyman (lawmaker, conservative) and a founding father of the Republic of Korea after the Korean War (1950–1953). A political heavyweight, Lee was an independence and democracy fighter and leader; anti-communism; anti-military rule; anti-Japanese rule; an advocate of bipartisanship particularly when it came to national security; and an advocate of non-governmental organizations.[1] After Korea was liberated from Japanese colonial rule in 1945, Lee "led a student union that opposed a trusteeship, under which Korea would be governed by foreign powers after World War II, and entered politics in 1954 after winning a parliamentary seat."[2] Lee and his two political rivals former President Kim Young-sam and former President Kim Dae-jung were famous for their political competition and the establishment and development of democracy in South Korea.[3] He was given an honorable burial for his life contributions at the Seoul National Cemetery on March 2, 2016 where former South Korean presidents are also buried.

Lee Chul-seung
이철승 사진.jpg
Member of the National Assembly, South Korea
In office
1954 The 3rd National Assembly
ConstituencyJeonju, Independent
In office
1958–1961 The 4th and 5th National Assembly
ConstituencyJeonju, Democratic Party
In office
1971 The 8th National Assembly
ConstituencyJeonju, New Democratic Party (Hangul: 신민당)
In office
1973 The 9th National Assembly and Vice Speaker of the National Assembly
ConstituencyJeonju, New DemocraticParty
In office
1978 The 10th National Assembly
ConstituencyJeonju, Wanju, New DemocraticParty
In office
1985 The 12th National Assembly
ConstituencyJeonju, New DemocraticParty
Personal details
BornMay 15, 1922
Seoul, Korea
DiedFebruary 27, 2016 (age 93)
Resting placeSeoul National Cemetery
NationalityRepublic of Korea (South Korea)
Political party1954 Independent;

1958 Democratic Party; 1971 New Democratic Party (Hangul: 신민당); 1973 New Democratic Party; 1976 Representative Supreme Member, the New Democratic Party; 1978 New Democratic Party;

1985 New Democratic Party;
Spouse(s)Kim Chang-hee
ChildrenYanghee Lee (daughter)
AwardsOrder of Service Merit ("Mugunghwa Medal," Hangul: 국민훈장 무궁화장)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationI Chul-seung
McCune–ReischauerI Ch'ŏlsŭng
Pen name
Revised RomanizationSo Seok
McCune–ReischauerSo Sŏk

Early life and educationEdit

  • 1949 – B.A. in Political Science, Korea University
  • 1962 – Studied at the Graduate School of the University of Pennsylvania in International Relations
  • 1995 – Honorary Doctor in Literature from Woosuk University
  • 1998 – Honorary Doctor in Political Science from Korea University

Political Career[4]Edit

Independence ActivistEdit


  • Chairman, Central Committee, Anti-Trustee Students Assembly
  • Chairman, Central Committee, National Students Assembly

National AssemblyEdit


  • Member, The 3rd National Assembly(Jeonju, Independent)


  • Member, The 4th National Assembly(Jeonju, Democratic Party)
  • The 5th National Assembly(Jeonju, Democratic Party)


  • Korean Delegate to the 15th U.N. General Assembly
  • Chairman, Korea Sports Council
  • President, Korea Weightlifting Federation


  • Chairman, Asia Weightlifting Federation


  • Chairman, Asia Weightlifting Federation


  • Member, The 8th National Assembly(Jeonju, New Democratic Party)
  • Chairman, Korean Policy Research Institute


  • Member, The 9th National Assembly(Jeonju, New Democratic Party)
  • Vice Speaker of the National Assembly


  • Korean Delegate to the 30th U.N. General Assembly


  • Representative Supreme Member, New Democratic Party


  • Member, The 10th National Assembly(Jeonju, Wanju, New Democratic Party)


  • President, Council for Commemorative Projects for Korea's Anti-trusteeship & Anti-communism Student's Movement


  • Member, The 12th National Assembly(Jeonju, New Democratic Party)


  • 자유민주총연맹 총재

Political ExileEdit

On May 16, 1961, Park Chung-hee, Kim Jong-pil, and Lee Nak-sun successfully staged a military coup d'etat. Immediately after, Park Chung-hee sent aides to try and win over key opposition lawmakers including Lee who rejected Park's request for help. Lee was forced to leave politics and went to the United States where he was vocally opposed to the military coup in Korea and studied Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

(This article needs more details about his political exile, his "man without a passport" status, and his asylum in the U.S.)

Political ComebackEdit

(This article needs more details about his political comeback)

Post-Political Career and Civil Society LeadershipEdit


  • Director, The Seoul Peace Prize
  • Member, The Seoul Peace Prize Selection Committee


  • Director, Commemorative Committee for "Patriotic Martyr in Yeosoon"


  • Co-chairman, National Council for Freedom and Democracy


  • Advisor, Korea Eligible Senior Voters Federation


  • Chairman, Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation and President, the Seoul Peace Prize Selection Committee
  • Member, Organizing Committee for the 2002 World Cup
  • Chairman, Association of Patriotic Societies for National Foundation


  • Chairman, Preparatory Committee for Commemorative of the Founding of the Republic of Korea


  • 자유민주비상국민회의 대표의장


  • Chairman, Parliamentarians' Society of the Republic of Korea


  • Chairman, The Elders Group of the Parliamentarians' Society of the Republic of Korea


Lee died on February 27, 2016 at 03:45 KST, at Samsung Hospital in Seoul at the age of 94. A funeral was held for him on March 2, 2016 that began with a five-day wake and a police-escorted procession that led to the National Assembly and ended with a gun salute at the Seoul National Cemetery where he is buried along with former South Korean presidents.


  • Order of Service Merit ("Mugunghwa Medal," Hangul: 국민훈장무궁화장)


  • The Republic of Korea and I (대한민국과 나) (2011)
  • Oh! Who Will Look After Korea (Hangul: 오! 대한민국 누가 지키리) (2002)
  • A Challenge for Hopelessness (Hangul: 절망에의 도전)
  • Long March to Democracy (Hangul: 민주의 장정)
  • Pan-National Student Federation (Hangul: 전국학련)
  • The Middle-of-the-Road Integration Theory (Hangul: 중도통합론) (1992)
  • The Sound Argument of Chaotic Period
  • A History of Korean Students National-Building Movement
  • How the Republic of Korea was Founded (1998)
  • My Political Thoughts for Democratic Development

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "7선 의원 지낸 이철승 전 신민당 총재 별세". chosun.com.
  2. ^ "Former 7-term lawmaker dies". koreatimes.com.
  3. ^ "See news video clip: '40대 기수론' 이철승, YS-DJ 잠든 서울현충원 영면.Lee Chul-seun, YS-DJ Rest Together at Seoul Nat'l Cemetery". news.ichannela.com.
  4. ^ "Lee Chul-seung". Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation.

External linksEdit